There’s no way around it – installing a solar system requires an upfront investment. So make sure you know if solar is right for you by asking yourself the following questions.
Ask yourself: what are your main reasons for investing in solar?
In order to determine if that investment is going to pay off, it is important to understand your own energy usage. Understanding how much solar power you will be able to use throughout the day will help you determine the appropriate system size and ensure you are getting a return on your investment.
The most benefit to be gained from solar is through “self-consumption” – that is, consuming the power your solar system generates instead of drawing power from the grid. Your solar system will generate the most power during peak daylight hours, so this is the optimal time to consume the energy your system is generating.
Ask yourself: When do you use the most electricity?
If you (or your family) are not home during the day, you can still make the most of your system by altering or tweaking the way you consume energy, or by running appliances during peak daylight hours.
Any excess power you generate is sent back to the grid, for which you can be paid a feed-in tariff by your electricity retailer. Feed-in tariffs differ from state to state, and from retailer to retailer so it’s worth talking to your retailer or shopping around to find the best deal for you.
The other key factor in determining if solar will work for you is your roof.
Ask yourself: How well do I know my roof?
The orientation (degree to North) of your roof, pitch (slope or angle), available space, amount of shade and even the type of roof (tile, tin, concrete etc.) will impact how you benefit from solar, or even if solar is an option for you.
Solar is not a one-size-fits all solution and these factors need to be considered.
A quality solar retailer will examine your roof to determine the appropriate size and projected benefits.